Hot Green Signal for ‘The Lion King’ 2 – The Savannah Calls for a Sequel

Source: Disney

A sequel is always appreciated, especially when you have a follow-up to the blockbuster smash hit ‘The Lion King’. Granted, not everyone warmed to the savannah-hot photorealistic take on the classic Disney favorite. Jon Favreau’s direction truly took the cake, though. The movie boasts original soundtracks from Beyoncé. If you have not yet heard the hit title ‘Spirit’, you better open a YouTube tab right now as you keep reading.

That’s just the thing about modern-day remakes. What they lack in yesteryear animated expressions and hand-drawn cartoon flair they make up for with jawdropping techno-brilliance. IndieWire has praised the use of photorealism in Lion King 2019. They have on record quite an eye-opening quote from the MPC Film team’s very own visual effects supervisor, Adam Valdez.

“…[T]he audience was going to relate to this film in a different way… [Y]ou didn’t have all of the comedy turns and exaggerated action and hyper-stylized look that you can do in a cartoon. You get a strange hybrid if you dial up the emotions where you’re not sure whether you’re watching an animation or live-action…”

 When one of Disney’s first remakes came out in July 2019, the name on everyone’s lips was ‘Lion King’. The movie went to gross $165.7 billion (did you catch that ‘B’?) in the box office, and became the ninth highest-grossing film of all time (according to CNet). It beat ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ to get there, for crying out loud. This only added to the possibility of a follow-up.

Favreau did an outstanding job laying the groundwork for what critics and diehard fans alike knew was going to attract a sequel. Et voila, a sequel is being served, Pridelands style. However, this next doozy in the Disney lineup is going to be directed by none other than Barry Jenkins, the acclaimed director of ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ (2018 | A24 | Romance-Drama starring KiKi Layne and Regina King) and ‘Moonlight’ (2016 | Annapurna Pictures | LGBT-Drama starring Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali).

Source Disney

Jenkins is quoted by Variety, “Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ‘90s, I grew up with these characters… [T]o work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love, and legacy while furthering my work chronicling the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true.”

Alright, some of you may be sitting there shaking your heads wondering “If the first movie was such a smash hit, why are they not letting Jon Favreau adopt the director’s helm for this next one too?” ScreenRant gave us a crisp answer, and their observation seems legit. Think about it, one look at Favreau will leave some people thinking they’ve seen this actor somewhere before. But in truth, the man’s an ace director, and there are more projects on his plate than there are hyenas in the Pridelands.

Anyone who has juggled several jobs knows the significance of scheduling. Favreau’s work on the brilliant Star Wars spinoff series ‘The Mandalorian’ for Disney+ has proven the man’s worth one hundred times over. We love you, Baby Yoda!

Let’s wrap up with something captivating. The Lion King 2 may be a sequel, but it is technically a prequel. Hold up, we haven’t lost our marbles. This new story is going to take us back to Mufasa’s origins. Did you just get goosebumps? We did.

We are getting the same writer who worked on the first part. Sending ‘Hakuna Matata’ energies your way, Jeff Nathanson. 2019’s photorealistic style is returning to regale us once more in Lion King 2.

As far as voice cast goes, here’s a reminder of who lent their talents in movie-one: the outstanding Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, the ingenious Donald Glover as Simba, the inimitable Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner as Timon and Pumbaa, and the awe-inspiring James Earl Jones as Mufasa.

Who do you think is going to return to the voice-booth for the sequel? Who are you eager to see slip into these roles instead? And what story arc are you, as a fan, desirous to see centering around His Majesty Mufasa, the one and only King of Pride Rock? Let us know in the comments, why doncha. 

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